Nelly

© Weia Tan

Creativity is the tool Nelly uses to process, understand and cope with the world. She finds
solace in forest walks as much as she does on darkened dance floors and losing herself in
these moments allows her to reset, reflect and become re-inspired.

When she is on the other side of the DJ booth, she is someone who distills dark musical forces into high energy sets rich in atmosphere and dense with emotion. Impactful hypnotism, explosive rave, stylish
trance and growling machines all colour the airwaves and make for moments of true escapism and non-stop physical workouts.

But there is another side to Nelly's sound: away from the club she threads fluid musical stories that draw on a wide array of genres. They explore the darker side of her psyche and are a form of therapy that can soothe and stir various different emotions and transform troubled mindsets. As Nelly's family was a part of the Indonesian diaspora that arrived in Rotterdam by boat after the Indonesian War of Independence, her storytelling audiovisual projects, mixtapes and photography draw on intergenerational trauma and how to deal with it.

Early in her life, Nelly was surrounded by a wide array of music but properly began exploring electronic sounds when she moved to Rotterdam. Her favourite spaces to dance in were cosy and sweaty basements. By then, she already used to spend hours making mixtapes in her bedroom. A time spent studying in Stockholm gave her the chance to buy her first controller and properly explore DJing, then a job behind the counter at the legendary Clone record store back home furthered her passion for digging ever deeper. From the '90s rave and trance of Belgium's Bonzai Records to Paul Johnson's raw Chicago sound, Nelly's inspirations are united by realness and roughness that always makes you want to dance.

"The dance floor has an enormous place in my heart," says Nelly. "It is the place where I can laugh and cry at the same time; a place where I can let all my emotions flow." The basement space Nelly loved so much was in BAR Rotterdam, which eventually closed. But it is now known as POING and Nelly had the honour of re-opening it after the lockdown with her first-ever DJ set. Since then she has played at places such as ADE, at Rotterdam's techno club Perron, and FIBER Festival where she played a mesmeric closing set with VJ Leeza Pritanchenko. During the pandemic, Nelly's sounds were broadcast far and wide with mixtapes for the likes of Dekmantel, Nous’klaer and Traumgarten. Now, though, she is back to the DJ booth and ready to take you on your next trip into the unknown.

    Drift Podcast 060

    Dekmantel Radio w/ Nelly

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